Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Karachi Mass Transit Project A system, that should have materialized decades ago: Zakaria Usman

Mr. Zakaria Usman, President FPCCI has express his serious concern over long awaited plan of Karachi Mass Transit Project which was planned years back with hard work involving years of surveys, studies, new laws, relocation of people, a committed international financier, provision of guarantees and much more. Now it need to resolve and sincere will to push it through although this should have happened decades ago.

He further said that Karachi Mass Transit Project was one of the unfortunate projects in the country’s history that had faced inordinate delays. Though several years had passed, the work on the project could not be started due to bureaucratic hurdles.

The President FPCCI drew the attention of the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the fact that Karachi is 60 times larger than it was when Pakistan was created in 1947. It is the world’s fastest growing mega city like Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Lagos, Jakarta, Mumbai, Delhi and Chicago. It has now become the world's 7th largest metropolis with an estimated population of nearly 20 million inhabitants. He said that Karachi is economic lifeline of Pakistan and is the country's financial capital. It is the financial and industrial powerhouse of the country which contributes 25% of GDP. The port of Karachi handles 60 percent of Pakistan’s cargo and the Karachi Stock Exchange is one of Asia’s most active trading money market.

He said that 15 years back the transport system of Karachi was satisfactory which was consisting of circular railways, KRTC buses, private coaches and taxies. The state owned circular railway and big buses were gradually broken due to lack of maintenance and attention of the concerned authorities. Now after 15 years the people are at the mercy of thousands of three wheelers and qingqi. Rather we should have upgraded the transport system instead we dropped it from our standard.

He further stated that many of the potential benefits of urbanization will be hard to realize unless there is improved city governance and serious efforts to reduce the level of violence in Karachi So what has already been done and what can Nawaz Sharif Government do to give a mass transit system that any mega city like Karachi must have, he urged.

The President of the apex trade body requested the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Governor and Chief Minister Sindh to give priority to Karachi Mass Transit Project which needs sincerity for implementation. This will bring much needed foreign direct investment in the country and it will impact positively on trade and economic activities in Pakistan and will reduce the level of fuel consumption in public and private transportation from one corner of the city to another corner, reflecting in reduction of import of oil which is one of the major importing items. This will also provide pollution free healthy environment.